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The Crimson Worm

By Calvin Ray Evans

Oh, the power of the Word of God! Everyday the Holy Spirit will reveal and enlighten to us the Scriptures as we sow them in our heart. After all these wonderful years of studying and preaching His Gospel, I am still thrilled at the new things He shows me in His Word. There is nothing new under the sun but there are some things that suddenly seem to come to life as we read them. I often compare it to a puzzle that seems so scattered about in confusion. As we study, the pieces start to come together. Then, as we place the last piece into place, we realize everything we needed to understand it was right in front of our eyes all the time. We just had to take the time to put it all together.

The 22nd Psalm was written nearly 1,000 years before the crucifixion of Christ. However, as you read the entire Psalm you can clearly see it was all recorded as a prophetic event that would take place one day on Calvary. The mystery of the ages is once again revealed in the fact the Lord knows the future better than we can remember the past. God foretold the punishment of His only begotten Son for the redemption of the world. Every detail is unfolded and a millennium after it is written the prophecy came to pass!

In our text, I call your attention to the astounding statement by the Lord when He calls Himself "a worm". At first glance, we know the worm has always portrayed depravity. It was in Gehenna where we are told in the Bible the worm dieth not. It was a worm that Job likened himself unto because he felt the lowliest of all creation. The worms had their part in the death of the wicked king as recorded in the book of Acts. However, we also know that Jesus was sinless! He was never touched by the depravity, which is a part of our nature. He was tempted, yet without sin! Therefore, when He refers to Himself as a worm there must be a deeper meaning and there is!

The word "worm" referred to in our text is unique in Scripture. In the Hebrew it is a particular female worm, which is called the "crimson worm." It is not until you begin to study the characteristics and the life cycle of the crimson or scarlet worm that you begin to see the tremendous truth revealed by this Scripture. Here are just a few things that I have discovered about the crimson worm and how it relates to the death of Christ on the cross.

First, the crimson worm climbs on the tree all by itself. Nobody forces it to get on the tree. It willingly searches out the kermes oak which is symbolic of its destiny. Then, by its own choice it climbs on the tree. Please understand that nobody forced Christ on the cross. What He did was of His own choice. He could have called all the angels of Heaven to release Him but He died alone for you and me.

The crimson worm knows when it climbs on the tree that it will not come back down alive. It is going to the tree to birth a family and to do that it must die. Jesus knowing all things still was willing to die on the cross to birth a family.

Once on the tree, the crimson worm then attaches itself to the tree. It makes sure it is secure because the body of the worm will eventually be the shelter for the young, which are born. Remember, it was not nails that held our Savior to the cross. It was love! That same love and broken body of our Lord is the protection for us against all the winds of heresy and unbelief of the ages. The worm will then lay its eggs and shelter them under her body.

During the birthing process, she secretes a crimson fluid or gel. The scarlet fluid covers her entire body and all the eggs she lays. It also leaves a stain on the tree, which will never fade away with the passing of time! (Please excuse me if I stop to shout right here! You may need to pause to join me too!) The blood of Jesus stained Him, the cross and all of us, which are saved! The blood will never lose its power!

After dying to birth the family, something amazing takes place. For a period of three days the worm can be scraped from the tree and the crimson gel can be used to make a dye. That dye was the same which was used in the tabernacle and in the garments of the High Priest.

On the morning of the fourth day, the worm has pulled the head and tail together and is now in the shape of a heart on the tree but it is no longer crimson. It is now a wax, which is white as snow. They can still harvest the wax and use it to make shellac, a preservative of wood. Praise God for the resurrection, which serves as the preservative of the message of the cross.

The crimson worm is also very fragrant when it is crushed. No other life in history has sweetened the pathway of humanity like the crimson worm who was crushed for our sin, Jesus.

In my study, I also was blessed to discover the crushed worm is also used to make medicine. Oh bless His Name! He is the healer of our diseases! He is the only one that has the power to break the curse of sin and save our soul from destruction.

I do not believe for one moment it was a mistake that He called Himself a worm! He is the Crimson Worm who died and was crushed for you. It is our sincere prayer that all those reading this sermon will stop and reflect on the price He paid to redeem our soul. He died for you! Will you live for Him?

Source: undated newsletter of Evangelistic Outreach Ministries, Box 56, Pedro, OH 45659

Elaboration by Karl Priest January 4, 2008
(Note: I use the King James Bible, but have not altered the references in the following material.)

Psalms 22

2   O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest; and in the night season, and am not silent.
3  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
4  Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
5  They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
6  But I am a worm (Strong’s #8438), and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

08438   //  elwt  //  towla`   //  to-law'  //  and (fem)
  //  helwt  //  towle`ah   //  to-lay-aw'  //  or
  //  telwt  //  towla`ath   //  to-lah'-ath  //  or
  //  telt  //  tola`ath   //  to-lah'-ath  // 

from   03216  ; TWOT - 2516b; n m

AV - scarlet 34, worm 8, crimson 1; 43

1) worm, scarlet stuff, crimson
1a) worm - the female 'coccus ilicis'
1b) scarlet stuff, crimson, scarlet
1b1) the dye made from the dried body of the female of the
worm "coccus ilicis"
2) worm, maggot
2a) worm, grub
2b) the worm "coccus ilicis"

When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted.

What a picture this gives of Christ, dying on the tree, shedding his precious blood that he might "bring many sons unto
glory" ( Heb 2:10 )! He died for us, that we might live through him! Ps 22:6 describes such a worm and gives us this picture of Christ. (cf. Isa 1:18 ) (from page 73, "Biblical Basis for Modern Science", 1985, Baker Book House, by Henry Morris)

http://www.apostolic-churches.net/bible/strongs/ref/?stgh=hebrew&stnm=08438

Scarlet Worm

Bible & Science tape series
Henry Morris

Look at the 22nd Psalm. This is the great Psalm of the crucifixion of Christ written 1,000 years before it was fulfilled. It describes in great detail the sufferings of Christ on the cross. "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" he cries out. Then down in verse 6...he says "But I am a worm (08438), and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people." What did he mean by saying "I am a worm"?...This particular worm is different from other kinds of worms. There are different kinds of worms, different varieties, but this is a particular worm. It means more than just he is not a man. Isaiah 52 says, "his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men." He was literally made corruption personified; he didn't even look like a man there on the cross*; it is talking about more than that here. He says "I am a worm and no man." This is a scarlet worm and the reason it was called that was because it had the ability to secrete a scarlet fluid which was used in making the scarlet dye that they used in ancient days. As a matter of fact, when you find the word "scarlet" in the bible, it's the same word. "Though your sins be as scarlet," it's the same word exactly. The worm was identified with the crimson color. The life cycle of that worm is something like this: when the mother worm was ready to give birth to the baby worms, she would find the trunk of a tree, a post or a stick somewhere and then she would plant her body in that wood and she would implant her body so firmly in it that she could never leave it again. And then the young would be brought forth and the mother's body would provide protection for the babies as long as they needed before they could get out and take care of themselves. Then the mother would die, and in the process, the scarlet fluid would stain her body and the body of the young and the tree and so on. The Lord Jesus said "I am like that scarlet worm." He's making peace through the blood of his cross; he's bringing many sons into glory through the suffering. And this is a graphic testimony of the fact that eternal life comes out of the suffering and death of the Son of God.

Snips of related Bible verses:

Exodus 16:20
20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms (08438), and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.

Deuteronomy 28:39
Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms (08438) shall eat them.

Job 25:6
How much less man, that is a worm (07415)? and the son of man, which is a worm (08438)?

07415 - maggot, worm (as cause and sign of decay)

Psalms 22:6
But I am a worm (08438), and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

Isaiah 14:11
Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm (07415) is spread under thee, and the worms (08438) cover thee.

Isaiah 41:14
Fear not, thou worm (08438) Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 66:24
And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm (08438) shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.

Jonah 4:7
But God prepared a worm (08438) when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered.

http://philologos.org/bpr/files/w010.htm

The Gospel in a bug!

After presenting a Bible study on Psalm 22 - a couple of the attendees had mentioned that there was something interesting about the phrase:

"But I am a worm, and not a man, A reproach of men, and despised by the people. PS 22:6 NASB

Now, I was told that this worm impales itself on a tree - stuff like that. Now, I had no idea what they were talking about. My experience is that Christians are willing to accept interesting stories that they think are evidence justifying their faith, or that they think will glorify God, or they just find inspiring, and then pass them on to others, without ever doing a fact check. I was suspicious that this was the case here as well. This practice is not some intentional evil, not a conspiracy, it is well intentioned, but I believe Christians need to be honest, lovers of truth, and protective of the reputation of other Christians by not being duped into myths.

I decided to learn what I could about this worm thing, primarily using no Christian sources for information, but sticking to secular sources for information as much as possible, and perhaps Jewish sources for questions regarding the Hebrew language, in which the Psalm was written. In this way, I could avoid Christian wishful thinking, and arrive at factual information without it being spun by an agenda.

The first step was to learn about the Hebrew word in the Psalm, underlying the word "worm" there. The word is "towla`at". I was told that this word is a reference to an organism known as the crimsom worm or the scarlet worm.  My Hebrew dictionary relates it to the "crimsom grub". That information is in Strong's Dictionary. Of the word "towla`at", Strong's said:

OT:8438
specifically (often with ellipsis of OT:8144) the crimson-grub

Now, I will admit, I did not know what ellipsis meant, so I went to Mirriam-Webster Dictionary:

ellipsis - the omission of one or more words that are obviously understood but that must be supplied to make a construction grammatically complete

I needed to find out about the word Strong's catalogues as OT:8144

OT:8144

shaniy (shaw-nee'); of uncertain derivation; crimson, properly, the insect or its color, also stuff dyed with it

So, between Strong's and M-W Dictionaries, I learned that there are these two Hebrew words for scarlet or crimson speak of a color and a creature from which the color is made. The two word's are mostly interchangeable, and the context determines if we are talking about the color as an adjective, or the grub or dye from it, as a noun.

We look at the phrase I am a worm and not a man, it is obvious that it is the grub, not the color, as "I am a crimson and not a man", makes no sense. Israelites, would have been familiar with the grub.

Now, knowing this information, I proceeded to   look at other uses of these words in the Bible, and researched as best I could, this little creature known as the Crimson Grub. Well a name like crimson grub or scarlet worm is fine, but common names often do not mean much, I needed the exact specie, I wanted the latin taxonomic name for this creature. Eventually, I was able to find it, it is coccus ilicis. Now that I had an exact species, I needed to learn what I could about it. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary.

coccus ilicis. (n.d.). Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from Dictionary.com website:

Coccus ilicis

1. The dried bodies of the females of a scale insect (Coccus ilicis), allied to the cochineal insect, and found on several species of oak near the Mediterranean. They are round, about the size of a pea, contain coloring matter analogous to carmine, and are used in dyeing. They were anciently thought to be of a vegetable nature, and were used in medicine.

2. (Bot.) A small European evergreen oak (Quercus coccifera) on which the kermes insect (Coccus ilicis) feeds. --J. Smith (Dict. Econ. Plants).

I couldn't help noticing that this grub was used in medicine, made me recall the verse:

Isa 53:5
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. NIV

That is interesting only the females are used in the dye, okay, why is that? As it turns out, the male is not earth bound, but instead is a flying insect.

Now, certainly I am reading a lot into the symbolism here, but humor me. Our Father, is in heaven, and leaves Jesus to accomplish His job on earth. The male (father) of this species, leaves the female to accomplish her work as well.

From Psalm 22: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"

Bear with me, there is more. The female, is a rather unattractive thing, in fact, it is so difficult to see that it is a "worm", that is was not recognized as such and was believed in some times and cultures, to be part of a plant. Compare that notion with the following Messianic passage, particularly verse 14:

Isa 52:13-15

13 See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.
14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man  and his form marred beyond human likeness —
15 so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. NIV

The New Living Translation renders it:

Isa 52:14
14 Many were amazed when they saw him — beaten and bloodied, so disfigured one would scarcely know he was a person.


See what I am getting at, this grub could scarcely be recognized as a grub, as the Messiah would be so disfigured, that He could barely be recognized as a man. As I mentioned, this grub is not much to look at, and we will have a look at in soon, first, I have a few more things to examine. As you probably know, the chapter numbers are not inspired by God, they are just added for our convenience. If we were to keep reading a few sentences later, we would  see the following verse:

Isa 53:2 He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. NIV

Remember I told you that this grub was not an attractive thing?

(Image snipped. Search coccus ilicis on the Web.)

http://www.omegascripture.info/worthystudy/worm.html

No Title

Exod 25:4-5

4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair,

5 And rams' skins dyed red, ...(KJV)

Now we come to scarlet, or also known as crimson. This morning as I was looking at these scriptures, I noticed something I had not known before. The words scarlet and red are both used in the above two scriptures and they turn out to be 2 different words. Both are red colors but on looking at the definitions, I discovered something new, which again points to the shedding of Jesus’ blood, which I am sure all of you realize is what red or scarlet in the scripture symbolizes.

How much so, I did not realize, until reading in the definition of scarlet from the Brown-Driver-Briggs dictionary. And when you look in an interlinear bible that lists the Strong’s numbers, you see 2 numbers used from Strong’s Concordance.

I am going to give you both numbers out of the Brown-Driver-Briggs dictionary and you will see why I was so amazed when you finish reading the second definition.

8144 shaniy-

scarlet, crimson; properly, the insect `coccus ilicis'. The dried body of the female yields coloring matter from which the dye is made. It can be used to color cloth as scarlet or crimson.

"8438 towla` and (feminine) towle` ah or towla` ath or tola` ath-

1) a worm, scarlet stuff, crimson

a) a worm, the female `coccus ilicis'

b) scarlet stuff, crimson, scarlet; the dye made from the dried body of the female of the worm "coccus ilicis"

2) a worm, a maggot

a) a worm, a grub

b) the worm. "coccus ilicis"

The definition goes onto say that when this species is ready to give birth to its young, the bug attaches itself to the trunk of a tree and so firmly that it never leaves it again either. The eggs that are deposited under the body are protected as a result, and the larvae are able to hatch in safety. When the mother dies, her body releases a crimson fluid which stains both her body and the surrounding wood. It is the dead bodies of these worms or bugs that the scarlet dye is made from.

Jesus died so that:

Heb 2:10

10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.(KJV)

He could bring many sons to glory. And look at the next verse.

Ps 22:6

6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. (KJV)

Interesting that Jesus is described in proxy by David as a worm. Do you see the comparison or analogy here? Jesus died on a tree-a piece of wood that he was stuck to and bled all over it. And this particular bug dies that way. And notice how it protected the eggs or young so they could be safely born and live as they should.

I never dreamed that in the natural world God had drawn a picture of Jesus’ death so clearly. This bit of information alone is enough to show that this color scarlet represented Jesus’ blood shed for us. And that was the animal that was used for the dyeing of material was that worm and it’s body fluids.

Now if you notice above in verse 5 it talks about ram’s skins dyed red. From what I have been reading in some Bible Dictionaries-the word red is referring to any red. But when it talks of scarlet or crimson it is talking about a red dye made from that bug.

Also from what I have been reading, the words red and purple and scarlet were sometimes almost interchangeable. It depended on the viewpoint of what the color should be called I guess many times by the writer. I will get into an example of that later.

Meanwhile it is universally recognized in the Bible that red represents shed blood.

snip

Next time you think of the color red, remember that it is the color of the blood that has saved you and me from Hell. We have been saved from our sins and sin’s power by the red blood of Jesus. Our own red blood isn’t pure enough. But Jesus’ was, as He was sinless and still is. It took a perfect lamb not only to pay for our sins but it also took the perfect lamb slain for us to reveal to us the future besides some of world history.

Rev 5:1-10

1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.(KJV)

Do we not have a wonderous God? I know we do. And you know, folks, it is all about Him. Not about us, but this whole earth, this whole world, our very existence, is all about Him. Are you living life like it is about you? If so, you have things backwards because you are here because of Him. You are here to glorify Him, to point to Him, to worship Him, to adore Him, to serve and work for Him, and to be HIS child.

As you get to know Him, this awesome being who created us and maintains our existence, you will see more and more how important He is and how unimportant we are without Him. Our importance comes only from Him. Our only strength comes from Him. Our only Hope, faith, love, etc. all come only from Him. Hurrayyyyyy!!! Yippeeeee! Those of us who know Him can be thrilled and rejoice that He is ours and we are His.

http://goodnewslady.com/page.asp?PageID=331

The Veil

Snips

The veil of the tabernacle separated the Holy Place of the temple from the Holy of Holies. Yet this curtain is more than a cloth barrier, it is a model of the suffering Messiah and that by His blood access is made into the very presence of the Most High.

We are given a list of three colors to weave this veil; blue, purple and scarlet. Each of these colors has a symbolic meaning. Blue is the color of the heavens and the heavenly regions. Purple is the color of royalty and kingship. Scarlet is the color of blood, sacrifice and death. Within these three colors we see the three members of the Godhead portrayed; blue for the Holy Spirit that blows like the wind where it wishes;1 purple for God the Father who sits upon the throne over creation2 and scarlet for the Son whose blood was shed for our redemption. These three colors are then weaved in and out into one solid union.

THE SCARLET SAVIOR

The third and final color to be dyed is scarlet. As I had mentioned earlier, the scarlet color represented blood, sacrifice and death. Yet no clearer message can be seen of the final atonement than that of the source of this rich crimson color; and we will find it within the fluid of a maggot.

The color of scarlet is more accurately translated crimson (Hebrew word Shani) and is found within the eggs of an insect identified in the Hebrew as Tolaath Shani or "worm of crimson" This insect is related to the similar Coccus Ilicis, which is found in the area of Mexico.

When the time comes for this Tolaath insect to give birth, it must first use it’s remaining strength to crawl up the side of a tree. It then attaches itself to the outer bark and prepares to bare its young.

As the young mature inside the mother, the body swells until it bursts—killing the mother in the birth process and leaving a dark-red stain upon the tree. The newborn young then feed upon the remaining body of the deceased mother.

The parallel is very clear; Jesus, as the Tolaath, suffered his way up the side of Moriah and was attached to the surface of a tree. His blood stained the tree with a precious, dark crimson. From this sacrificial death, His offspring were given life.

...knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things... but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. I Peter 1:18-19

On the cross, Jesus quoted the first verse of Psalm 22, thus directing the reader to an interesting discovery...

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent...But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people.

The word "worm" in this text is the word Tolaath. This word was specifically used to illustrate what was actually happening in this mournful cry. Yes there is death; yes, there is sorrow; yes, blood is shed; but through it all, new life in abundance is born.

Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God... That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3:3-8

After the emergence of the young, they then feed upon the body of the mother so that they may gain initial sustenance. This picture now brings clarity to the words of Jesus as he institutes the partaking of the communion.

Then He took a loaf of bread; and when He had thanked God for it, He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "This is My body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me." Luke 22:19

So, by His death the Church is born. His body and blood sustain us in our newborn state.

“This wine is the token of God's new covenant to save you—an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you.” Luke 22:20

SCARLET CONSUMPTION

But what if the Tolaath worm was not to die. Like all maggot larva, it slowly consumes all that is in its path. Not only is there a slow consumption, there is also no new life given.

"And if your hand makes you sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched; "…where ' their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.' "And if your foot makes you sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched; "…where ' their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.' "And if your eye makes you sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire; "…where ' their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'" Mark 9:43-48

Three times Jesus refers to a worm that never dies, but lives on to consume its captive for eternity. Jesus is actually quoting a description of hell described in the final verse of Isaiah.

"They shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against [the Lord]. For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched, they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."

The word worm used in this quoted passage is once again the Tolaath. This Tolaath, however, is different in that it has never died.

Instead of giving birth through its death, it remains alive as an eternal tormentor.

Every living human being who has ever heard of Jesus dying on the cross as a payment for our sins has a Tolaath. This "Tolaath", you might say, is knowing that salvation is available and that new life can be yours by receiving this free gift offered. You now have a choice.

1. Reject Jesus as your personal savior, thus allowing the Tolaath to live forever. This would be the knowledge in your conscious memory that you rejected the good news in order to live life according to your own desires and your own worldview.

Or…

2. Receive Jesus as your personal savior, thus being part of a new birth that results from His sacrificial death. As you emerge from this Tolaath, you will be covered and stained with the very blood that brought you forth.

http://www.schneblin.com/studies/pdfs/the_veil.pdf

 Matthew Henry Commentary

It was great condescension that he became man, a step downwards, which is, and will be, the wonder of angels; yet, as if it were too much, too great, to be a man, he becomes a worm, and no man. He was Adam--a mean man, and Enosh--a man of sorrows, but lo Ish--not a considerable man: for he took upon him the form of a servant, and his visage was marred more than any man's, Isa. lii. 14. Man, at the best, is a worm; but he became a worm, and no man. If he had not made himself a worm, he could not have been trampled upon as he was. The word signifies such a worm as was used in dyeing scarlet or purple, whence some make it an allusion to his bloody sufferings.

http://www.apostolic-churches.net/bible/mhc/MHC19022.HTM

Also see “The Theology of Worms.”